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  3. GAB About Games #173 - Aretha, Mahou Poipoi Poitto, Monopoly

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
1 month ago#11
Low Recommendation (0-39%) (Sq-Z)

Syvalion - 33% (3)
T2: The Arcade Game - 20% (5)
Taz-Mania - 36% (7)
Tecmo Secret of the Stars - 25% (6)
Tekkaman Blade - 13% (4)
Terminator, The - 0% (4)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day - 10% (5)
Test Drive 2: The Duel - 33% (3)
Tetris 2 - 38% (4)
Tetsuwan Atom - 0% (1)
Thunder Spirits - 33% (6)
Time Cop - 20% (5)
Time Slip - 30% (5)
Time Trax - 30% (5)
Tintin in Tibet - 0% (6)
Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun - 0% (3)
Tom & Jerry - 0% (4)
Toys - 0% (5)
Traverse: Starlight & Prairie - 0% (1)
Troy Aikman NFL Football - 0% (4)
Tsuri Tarou - 0% (1)
UFO Kamen Yakisoban - 0% (1)
Ultima: Ruins of Virtue 2 - 0% (4)
Ultima: The Black Gate - 25% (6)
Ultima: The Savage Empire - 25% (2)
Ultimate Fighter - 0% (2)
Ultraman - 13% (8)
Untouchables, The - 0% (1)
Ushio to Tora - 25% (2)
Utopia - 8% (3)
Vortex - 33% (3)
Vs Collection - 0% (1)
Waku Waku Ski Wonder Spur - 0% (2)
War 3010 - 0% (3)
Warlock - 8% (6)
Warpspeed - 0% (4)
Waterworld - 38% (4)
Wayne's World - 4% (12)
We're Back - 0% (5)
Whizz - 13% (4)
Wicked 18 - 17% (3)
Wild Snake - 33% (3)
Wings 2: Aces High - 38% (4)
Winter Olympic Games: Lillehammer '94 - 0% (3)
Wizardry 1-3 - 0% (2)
Wizardry 5 - 33% (3)
Wizardry 6 - 25% (2)
Wolfchild - 25% (6)
Wolverine: Adamantium Rage - 13% (4)
World Masters Golf - 25% (2)
Wrecking Crew 98 - 0% (1)
WWF Super Wrestlemania - 36% (7)
WWF Wrestlemania the Arcade Game - 25% (4)
X-Kaliber 2097 - 33% (6)
X Zone - 0% (2)
Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Tokubetsu Hen - 33% (3)
Zen-Nippon GT Senshuken - 25% (2)
Zool - 25% (8)
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User Info: uffbulle

uffbulle
1 month ago#12
Monopoly - A
Troddlers - G
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User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
4 weeks ago#13
Aretha - G
Mahou Poipoi Poitto - A
Mark Davis The Fishing Master - B
Monopoly - B
NBA Give 'N Go - G
Troddlers - A

Aretha is a fairly straightforward RPG with a couple interesting features. For starters, it's a pretty good-looking game, with very detailed monster and character sprites and battle animations, and it also has some nice modern design touches, like being able to save anywhere and having a "where do we go next?" button to help you keep from getting lost. The battle system is fairly standard dragon quest fare, except with a bit of a twist in that enemies can attack from four directions, which basically just allows you to fight four times as many enemies at once without compromising the sprite sizes. One slightly unusual feature of the game is that it doesn't display damage numbers, so if you're using a damage spell or something you have no way of knowing how much damage you're doing, which is a little odd, but the game generally isn't hard enough for this to be gamebreaking. The game is generally quite briskly paced and light-hearted, which makes it pretty easy to play through, and the random encounter rate seems a bit more reasonable than most games of this vintage. A pretty solid game overall.

Mahou Poipoi Poitto is a puzzle game that bares some resemblance to Columns. It's a falling block game where you need to line up 3 in a row either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, by rotating 2x2 blocks of shapes and dropping them. One thing that stands out instantly about this game is that it has a ton of modes. There's a kind of Endless / Arcade mode where you clear blocks to beat monsters, a VS Com mode, a Puzzle Mode, as well as an Endless mode and two VS modes for two players. It's a very full package in that regard. However, I don't really find the core game to be all that fun. I think it's largely because the blocks you have to rotate are so huge that I don't really feel like I have much control over the game, which isn't helped by the fact that when you get attacked, your blocks basically get phased out of existence for a long time, leaving you with a ton of the field you simply can't use. The enemies are constantly changing your blocks and messing up your combos in the endless mode, too. Columns is generally a game of meticulous planning but it doesn't really feel like that transfers over well here.

While playing Mark Davis' The Fishing Master, I finally realized what exactly it is that makes the vast majority of old fishing games so lousy. In most of these games, like 99% of the game is spent trying to hook the fish, which is always a hellishly complex process involving a ton of trial and error. However, hooking the fish isn't the fun part of fishing (or fishing games), it's actually fighting the fish once you have it hooked that people come for. The good fishing games (like River King or more modern fishing games) make hooking the fish quick and easy, and instead place the focus on actually fighting the fish. I think it's a bit telling that pretty much all modern fishing games go this route, clearly once people figured out how this genre should work they never went back.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, SNES / PS1 on now
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User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
4 weeks ago#14
A good way to tell if a board game makes a good conversion to console is to consider whether the game is easier or harder to play than it is using the actual board. Monopoly is clearly in the latter category, as doing even very basic things, like checking which properties you own, requires you to go through several menus. You would think they would have the good sense to, say, colourize the board when a square is owned by a player (more modern Monopoly games always do this), but no, you have to use menus here to find out. Monopoly isn't really even a great game at the best of times (Fortune Street and Culdcept are both way better), and there are certainly better ways to play it than this.

NBA Give and Go is a pretty solid game, which probably shouldn't be surprising since it's from Konami. I suppose you could probably argue that the game is largely flash and may not have a lot of substance, but the flash really is quite impressive, the players are huge and well-animated and feature recognizable likenesses (even moreso than NBA Jam does), and there's tons of big dunks, big blocks, and solid commentary and music running alongside the whole thing. Sure, most of the time when you want to pass to someone they'll probably be offscreen so it can be a little difficult to set up plays, but it rarely gets in the way of the action. Definitely in the upper echelon of Basketball titles from the era.

Troddlers is a puzzle game that reminds me a bit of Krusty's Super Fun House. The goal of the game is (usually) to lead the Troddlers to the level exit, which is done by placing and removing blocks, similar to Krusty's Super Fun House. The game progressively ramps up the challenge by giving you other goals like killing zombie troddlers or collecting gems, but the basic mechanics of providing a path for the troddlers to reach the goal (or not) generally remains the same. It's an all right game, though I don't find it quite as engaging as Krusty's Super Fun House, which I think I rated as a low G.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, SNES / PS1 on now
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User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
4 weeks ago#15
Bump
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#16
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User Info: MannyCav

MannyCav
4 weeks ago#17
Terotrous posted...
checking which properties you own, requires you to go through several menus.

Actually, one button press during gameplay, X, brings up a screen which shows holdings for all the players. Now I'm not so sure that this review isn't about the Japan "Monopoly", which might not have this feature...? Just so we're clear about what game is being discussed here, I've redacted my lengthy post, and will rework it depending on what game is being discussed here since details in it may not apply. I will however leave the relevant paragraph.

There's Monopoly 2, an odd RPG-esque game where you go on a quest through a ritzy hotel and play in various Monopoly tournaments. Confusingly, that game is a sequel to an earlier Japan-only Monopoly game simply titled Monopoly. Despite being titled the same as the Western game, it's a unique iteration from a different developer, and features the hotel theme of its sequel. With very little coverage in online videos (doubtless a big reason for this is that search results for it get squashed by returns for the well-known Super Nintendo game of identical name to the Super Famicom game), along with having the same name, I can see how that would make it easy to miss here (one would see a Japanese game titled Monopoly and naturally assume it's just the Western one with a Japanese translation, but no, it's actually a different game).

tl;dr, there are three Super Nintendo/Famicom Monopoly games. There's the SNES Monopoly, which was ported to/from Sega Genesis and is popularly covered; the Super Famicom Monopoly, which has the hotel theme; and the Super Famicom Monopoly 2, a sequel to the Super Famicom hotel Monopoly game. https://superfamicom.org/info/monopoly
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(edited 4 weeks ago)

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
4 weeks ago#18
It's this one:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/588498-monopoly

I'll test that feature later, though hopefully it's not just the menu that lets you look through the deeds one at a time.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, SNES / PS1 on now
http://www.backloggery.com/tero - My backloggery

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
3 weeks ago#19
This is the last day to vote.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, SNES / PS1 on now
http://www.backloggery.com/tero - My backloggery

User Info: MannyCav

MannyCav
3 weeks ago#20
What the earlier games (e.g., SNES) have on later ones is speed. The SNES game has a pretty good balance of animations and expedience of turns, where things move at a good pace. Not so with some later games. The Switch version for instance is littered with frequent pop-ups (e.g., a "Time to play!" pop-up you must close on every turn instead of simply listing the current player's name in the screen/board corner) and cumbersome token walking animations that drag on for too long, and don't really add anything, either. SEGA Master System and N64 are other examples of how not to make a Monopoly game (though I can see someone getting attached to the goofy animations of the latter).

While there is a time loss element with going in the menu in the SNES game to do things like set up trades, build houses, manage property, etc, that time is made up in spades on the physical board game when it comes to setup (with can take several minutes, upwards of twenty for a larger party, by the time you take everything out, unpack, organize, hand out the money in the exact denominations, etc.). Then there are the turns, passing around and sorting the money for the various fees, rents and transactions, etc. The time lost needing to go through menus, at least in my experience, is matched and beat with the time made up in quicker setup, expedient payment and money handling, and the swiftness of the turns, which are hammered out at a pretty good pace.

Of course there's no replacement for the tactile environment, getting to be there and feel the experience of game play with a real board. Monopoly can translate to video game form if done right (like property checking). It's pretty close, but I'd rate Monopoly SNES a low G. That may seem high, but here's my reasoning. 1st, you can, indeed, check all property with a single button press during game play. All property cards are displayed for all players. 2nd, there's a great deal of flexibility in setting up custom games. You can give properties, cash, buildings, etc. to whoever you want if you're one of those people that like to customize, or pick up a game from a very specific point. 3rd, and I mentioned this, the game plays fast, faster than physical or almost all other Monopoly video game adaptations. I'd rate Monopoly NES/GB a solid A for comparison.

The menus still aren't perfect, though. By rule, any player can build houses at the start of any turn. The game allows this, but makes it confusing with the first menu text, "WITH WHOM AM I SPEAKING?" A player setting up a trade may be inclined to select the player with whom he's trying to trade, but in fact you're meant to select yourself before proceeding (the game assumes a single controller is being used, and wants to know who's using the menu). You're not supposed to select the player "WITH WHOM YOU'RE SPEAKING," this is in fact the CPU making an inquiry to the player. Even at that, GameBoy playthroughs, which ironically I often did on SNES via Super Gameboy, go by at a much quicker time than actual games by the time everything is factored in, time lost in menus but gained in setup, turns rifled through quickly, etc.

A little time is lost figuring out the menus, but in my experience it's more than made up by several factors in setup time, how quickly the turns themselves take, and how much easier and quicker it is to process money through the dozens of turns that take place. Gameplay length is about an hour and a half to two for the game, and four or longer for the board (given apples-to-apples for number of players). This is why, in my opinion and factoring in setup and time, Monopoly is easier to play on the game than an actual board. I like physical board play more for tactile experience, but it's just simpler, quicker, and easier to fire up the game. In my experience and opinion, of course. This is one of if not the favourite Monopoly video game adaptation of mine.
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  3. GAB About Games #173 - Aretha, Mahou Poipoi Poitto, Monopoly
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